There’s not many places in the world where you can get married in a castle, but in Scotland this dream is easy to achieve.
In Scotland there are really four options to be married in a castle
(1) Through the National Trust who offer a variety of trust protected properties of historic important for use for private ceremonies and events. With National Trust castles, it is likely you would not have accommodation at the castle, and you will be bound by some restrictions -such as visiting hours for the public or use of caterers and timings.
(2) Through private owners. Many castles in Scotland are private homes, still lived in by the owners who’s families have been custodians for generations. Often, privately owned castles will not have existing staff or suppliers so you may need to do a little extra work but you have the opportunity to make the event your own in a truly unique venue. There are literally hundreds of castles across Scotland available for hire, so it might take some detailed research to find the perfect one for you.
(3) Hire a purpose converted wedding venue. Many of the most beautiful castles in Scotland have been covered and updated to be used almost exclusively as luxury wedding venues. They might offer services and packing to make life easy for you, as well as accommodation within the castle for you and your guests. With exclusive use arrangements, the castle would usually be yours for 1 – 3 days, to use as your own rented home on a self catering basis, with the option to bring in caterers for whichever parts of the wedding you like.
(4) At a castle converted to a hotel. All over Scotland, there are beautiful, luxury hotels and resorts that have been converted to 4 or 5 star hotels offering a range of accommodation, leisure and event services. With this type of venue you can expect to get the benefits of hotel service and facilities, including accommodation, on site leisure facilities and access to a team of dedicated wedding coordinators.
The facilities, accommodations and services of castles for hire will vary drastically across Scotland. More “authentic” castles might not quite come with all the mod cons you might be used to, with many lacking elevators, en suite bathrooms or modern facilities so be sure to make sure you choose something that suits your personal tastes. If you’d prefer convenience over authenticity, many castles have been refurbished to the highest standards and offer exceptional levels of comfort and amenities.
Many castles come with their own rich history, so be sure to read up and find out the unique story your chosen venue has to tell. Quite often you will find the staff and suppliers to be exceptionally friendly and welcoming to tourists and they will be happy to tell you their tales!
Castles were originally intended as buildings used for defence, rather than entertaining, so often castles will lack large function rooms and spaces and a marquee or tent on the lawns is often provided as an alternative. Very few castles in Scotland can actually offer large, beautiful function spaces for your wedding meal, so be prepared to do your research.
Many castles and estates in Scotland also come with their own Chapel or Church, which can give you the opportunity to hold your ceremony there if you wish.
In terms of pricing, castle weddings in Scotland can be surprisingly affordable, particularly in the areas slightly further from the main cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, so if your dream is to be married in a fairy-tale castle -Scotland could not be a better choice for your wedding day.